Many people believe the first step in preparing for Caribbean carnival is registration. With experience, you will find that most people will assemble their crew and prepare for group travel before the band launches even occur.
Choosing good road partners is just as important as choosing your band. Choice of the band and your crew can make or break your carnival experience.
It is essential to embrace that not all your friends/family are a good fit for this experience with you. Group travel can save money, but it’s not worth it if you have drama to go along with it. I would personally pay a little extra for peace and great vibes.
So let’s read on.
Finances in group travel
The first thing I want you to look for in a road partner is financial signs. Carnival is an expensive experience, and if your potential road partner has demonstrated they are not financially stable, anticipate financial instability will be realized during your trip. For example, suppose you have a friend constantly doing charge-backs, returning clothing, cancelling flights, or continually borrowing money. In that case, this is probably someone you do not want to take on the trip. And if you do, mentally prepare for that individual to continue to do the same things they did on your journey.
People who demonstrate these signs of instability will not have the flexibility to promptly purchase fete tickets, flights, or book reservations. This type of person will likely buy everything at the last minute, making their financial strain worse because everything is more expensive. You can’t rely on splitting the cost of lodging with these types of people, because they may back out of the trip.
Behavior patterns and rocky relationships.
Secondly, think about how this potential will partner in public or in private with you. In other words, what is their history with you? Caribbean carnival is all about joy, happiness and is a stress-free, non-judgmental environment. But if your potential crew member consistently gets into confrontations or puts you in complex situations, this person will do it again at Carnival. Life tip: If you have a friend who has done unsavory things to others, they’re likely to do it to you. Carnival is not the place you want to do this to you. For example, I know of a lady who had been friends with someone for numerous years who knew she had a pattern of stealing. They went on a trip anyway, and the girl stole her costume and wore it on the road after they got into an argument.
I would like you to think about the stability of your relationships when choosing partners for group travel. We all have been in these situations where we’ve had this off-and-on friendship with people that we would not walk away from. The cycle is festering issues, tolerance, blow-ups, and make-ups. Rinse, recycle and repeat. Although carnival is a healing experience, it will likely not heal your crappy relationships. If you don’t want to deal with conflicts on your trip, leave them home.
Traveling in a group with heavy drinkers.
In most carnival experiences, alcohol flows freely. Be wary of a road partner who does not drink responsibly. Imagine struggling to get your drunk road partner home while in full costume carrying them and their feather backpack looking for an Uber. I want no parts of it. If you have a potential road partner known for not being able to temper their consumption, you might not want to bring them.
It’s essential to choose road partners that can match your energy levels or set expectations beforehand. I am an introvert, and by the time I cross the stage, I am spent and ready to return to my hotel. Many people are prepared to continue their fete for a while. I am not saying NOT bring someone that can’t match your energy. Be prepared to either accommodate various energy levels or have a plan in place when one or the other wants to pump longer or turn in for the day.
Traveling in groups is a lot of fun, and everyone loves the classic carnival crew photo. But it’s important to choose those with whom you will share your space and financial responsibilities. I hope this helps you find this blog super helpful. If you or you know someone who would like to travel solo, check out my post here.